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Survey guides way for new shop

12:45 22 February 2014

Wickham Market Town Team members with delegates at the East Suffolk Partnership Forum

Wickham Market Town Team members with delegates at the East Suffolk Partnership Forum

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The retail requests of an east Suffolk community are set to be realised with the opening of a new store.

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R&S Hardware and Gardens will open in Wickham Market on March 3 in response to a survey seeking views on which shops people would most like to see in the area.

The survey, produced by Wickham Town Team as part of its plans to rejuvenate the centre following a number of high-profile shop closures, was distributed to around 2,000 residents, villagers and businesses last year to help create a vibrant retail market.

Margaret Reeve, who will be running the shop with her husband Andrew and their business partners Anna and Steven Shand, said the survey had given them the confidence to undertake the new venture and has praised the Town Team’s work.

“It’s meant that we can put something in place knowing it’s what the villagers want,” she said. “I think with the community effort and all the work that has been done by the Town Team it’s helped to spring the village back into life and put it on the map again.”

Bryan Hall, Wickham Market’s Suffolk Coastal district councillor, said he was “extremely pleased” to hear the news. “By first researching what people will support in Wickham, hopefully it should make for a sustainable business,” he said.

The shop will offer hardware, pet food and gardening equipment, seven days a week.

Colin Owens, the Town Team chairman, said the survey was just one of many initiatives being carried out to improve Wickham Market.

Next week, he will meet with the district council seeking car park rate reductions to encourage visitors.

And this summer the Town Team will be working with the primary school to expand on its popular Extravaganza event – a day of entertainment and activities.

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